Now that it’s over perhaps we can have a discussion about making sure that was that last jubilee weekend we have to suffer. I normally try to not just rant in articles but I’m finding this tough after witnessing the embarrassment of four days of union flag bunting, the media hype and wall to wall news coverage, reminding us that we still suffer the monarchy.
The one glimpse of positivity that I can glean from this ridiculous spectacle is the fact that it looked a bit crap. Even the people that got really into it seemed to do so because they felt they wanted to be able to say they were there. The Mall was lined with tents, and in them actual human beings who think it’s a good idea to support the very institutions that keep them in servitude. Camp out in London to protest for something worthy and see how you get treated.
The festering monarchy shouldn’t be given any space to celebrate anything. In Britain, so many of the population seem to enjoy being subjects that they’ll happily accept being treated like rubbish. On top of which, they’ll by the magazines, books, commemorative tea towels and all the other junk. In Britain our subject status is basically sold back to us. The monarchy isn’t content enough to have stolen the land it has and the tax money is enjoys; it has to turn itself into a commodity for us all to consume as well. Brits hate the on-the-make dishonest politicians that infest the establishment but they don’t seem to see the monarchy in the same light, despite it being the ultimate in establishment cronyism, elitism and hierarchical fuckery.
The public in the UK certainly do not spend a great deal of time thinking about the imperial past or the legacy of empire. The monarchy is an institution that has not just stolen from the people here. The sun never sets on its crimes and those conducted in its name. The empire still keeps the monarchy going with tax revenue. The fight for reparations from multiple groups of victims grows. The UK had plenty to think about over the last four days. Instead of thinking, too many people were fawning over an individual at the centre of an unjustifiable edifice.
From Thursday to Sunday they consumed it. They decorated their houses. They had street parties. They called anyone who disagreed with them clowns and appealed for republicans not to spoil the fun. But deep down I think they know the truth. I think they know the monarchy is on its last legs. I fucking hope it is. The reformist voices are out in force. Murmurs in the Guardian from Polly Toynbee, the pressure group Republic upping its game on social media: there is something in the air. The most common theme is respect for the Queen but make sure she’s the last.
There certainly doesn’t seem to be much appetite for Charles. The monarchy is an institution that rests on the reputation of the people at the centre of it. The scandal of Andrew, the pointlessness of Edward, the internal strife of Harry: these are all factors affecting the institution. At times of celebration, they can be put away, hidden by the glitz and glamour. The last four days were just a show, put on for show. We all know that, even those telling republicans to ‘jog on’. They will surely be quiet when the time comes to abolish the monarchy.
Now the show’s over, what on earth is left? It was surely the last jubilee for the current monarch. But it feels like the last, period. It feels like the establishment put this show on, not as a sign of strength, but of weakness. Barbados has become a republic. Other Caribbean countries will follow suit. How long before Australia? The monarchy is under threat across the globe. Will Britain be last to ditch it? The race is on. Let’s give it a bit of a push.